"Well the way I retain and nature talent is first of all I recruit talent. I try to recognize that in the interview. We bring people in, we bring in the best people that we can. And then we just give them the information that they need -- the tools, the training. And of course what we do here is so important, it makes such a big difference in people's lives here in the critical care unit. We give them opportunities to grow and to nurture and to meet their goals." -- Judy Pearce
How do you retain and nurture talent?
Judy Pearce, has been a nurse for the past 25 years, 15 of those at the Cleveland Clinic.
In addition, Pearce, a mother of four, chose the Air Force when her oldest son was attending the Air Force Academy. She was assigned to the Wright-Patterson AFB Medical Center in 1995-1997, until there was an opening in the 445th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron in 1998.
Just weeks ago, Pearce returned from a two-month deployment that took her from a base in Kuwait to Iraq, Bahrain, Qatar and Germany.
"Many were army guys injured by rocket propelled grenades or remotely detonated weapons," says Pearce. "Summer temperatures reach 130 degrees, 150 degrees on the flightliner, so we had patients with dehydration and heat stroke, also pneumonia and psychological problems.
"We carried weapons and wore body armor," says Pearce. "If the mission is in a combat area (called "the box"), we have to get in quickly ("dive bomb"), keep a low profile, load the patients from an ambus and ambulances, and get out as soon as we can," she relates. This is no easy feat for huge transport planes, some which can carry 103 patients on litters to a hospital, usually Landstuhl Military Hospital in Germany.
Pearce says her experience in the Clinic's Cardiac ICU overlaps significantly with her military work. "The pace, the decision making, and the acuity of patients we care for on the unit has served me well."
Judy Pearce, RN, began her nursing career in 1984 after receiving an associate degree in nursing from Lakeland Community College. She completed her BSN at Bowling Green State University. Pearce spends most of her professional life as nurse manger in the controlled and contained environment of J3-1, the Cleveland Clinic's Cardiac Intensive Care Unit. That is, until a phone call thrusts Pearce into her other life with dramatically different surroundings. Lieutenant Colonel Judy Pearce, RN, is a flight nurse for the 445th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, United States Air Force Reserve. She can be deployed anywhere, at any time.